Conferences & Training
Program - Annual Conference for Development Researchers

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 1, Wednesday, Nov. 15

NOON-1:00 PM

Introduction and Welcome

Prospect Development: A Critical Role for Development Success

Capacity Rating X-Factors (Hint: There's More to It than Just a Number!)
While evaluating a prospect's capacity is an indispensable research tool, there's so much more to consider beyond pinpointing that "magic" number. And once you've completed the rating, then what? Whether you're completing a one-off rating or you've just completed your screening, this session will outline key considerations in selecting a rating system, the role of your research gut, how to message effectively, and how to track your ROI.

Faculty Panel: Show and Tell
This session will highlight each faculty member, sharing the most exciting thing their team has produced this year. Each will provide a short description of their problem, the process and the solution. Learn some great new approaches for tackling some of prospect development's perennial challenges!

Networking Reception

Conference Adjourns for the Day
Dinner on your own

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Day 2, Thursday, Nov. 16

8:00-9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast/Roundtables

Spice Up Your Recipe: Blending Partnership with Portfolio Reviews
There is no better time to be a key player of your team than leading productive portfolio reviews. List fatigue is real so bring new and fresh ideas to reviewing prospects, outlining fundraising strategies and demonstrating the importance of individual's portfolios in the overall mission for your organization. Your partnership with gift officers keeps them focused and donor centric within the structure of your prospect management procedures and policies.

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Using Metrics for Prospect Research and Prospect Management Teams for Performance Improvement
    As prospect development proselytizes to our organizations to be more data-driven, prospect development teams often don't leverage the data we create. This session will address some of the challenges in creating approaches to measure the impact of prospect development functions. In doing so, we'll discuss how to define and measure metrics that make sense for your organization. From there, we'll examine a few opportunities to use that data for performance improvement.
  • Automate, Innovate, Don't Hate: Making Everything You Do Easier and Faster
    What happens when a research department stops being so rigid and starts to think strategically? They tend to stray away from "traditional" research deliverables and start finding new ways to support the fundraising cycle. This presentation will be an overview of how nontraditional research deliverables have reshaped our research department's position in strategic conversations within our organization. Single Source Ratings, liquidity scores, inclination and influence scores, automated profiles and event blurbs have propelled our team into a strategic force that drives fundraising instead of chasing it.

11:45 AM-1:15 PM
Lunch on your own

Evaluating Wealth Using Job Title and Industy
How do industries effect a prospects capacity? In this session we will review key wealth generating industries, private equity and hedge funds. How should we approach a prospect from these industries? How do they make money? What are their feelings on philanthropy?

Tap Dancing Your Way into Their Hearts: Building Relationships with Leadership
Senior leadership often holds prospect development to a high standard. While rigorous, it's usually because they know we can exceed those expectations. Leadership is there to push us as professionals, but they can also be your most powerful advocates. Building strong relationships with senior leadership positions the prospect development team at the forefront of advancement, leading in areas of performance management, data health, and organizational infrastructure. But how do you get there? Given limited resources, a resistance to change, potential gatekeepers, it can be a challenge. Let's discuss key steps along the journey and debrief lessons learned.

Keynote Session
Joshua M. Birkholz, Principal, Bentz Whaley Flessner

Conference Adjourns for the Day
Dinner on your own

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Day 3, Friday, Nov. 17

8:00-9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast/Roundtables/One-on-One Sessions

Faculty Panel: Campaigns
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the stages of our campaigns. Most likely your organization is either planning, in or finishing a campaign. If not, then one is on the way. The faculty will focus on prospect development's pivotal role within each stage of a campaign. Sharing from real-life experiences of both successes and failures during campaigns.

Thriving in an Evolving Role
There is only one constant in this world and that is change. Being a prospect development professional provides you with many opportunities to demonstrate leadership and team work in an ever changing work environment. Taking a look at your strengths, interests and knowledge can lead you on new paths within our profession, while staying in the organization.

11:30 AM-NOON
Conference Wrap-up and Closing

Conference Adjourns

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3